Baby ‘Asha’, who was supposed to be sent to Nauru following the federal government’s verdict on deporting 267 asylum seekers from Australia, has been allowed to stay in the detention centre of the nation until she gets well.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed on Monday morning that the baby has been released from Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane. He added that the baby is allowed to stay in a detention centre in Australia for now but she will be deported along with her family to Nauru once the refugee claims were finalised. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that in case they were not shifted to their country, they would be transferred to a third world nation such as Cambodia.
On Sunday, Dutton spoke from Brisbane and said that the one-year-old, who has received treatment at the Lady Cilento Hospital for her burnt wounds, would be joining another 83 people living in Australia’s detention centre along with her family. He removed confusion in the minds of the public by saying that she would still be sent to Nauru once every matter is finalised. He specified that the girl won’t get any “special treatment” from the government just because she grabbed the attention of so many Australians and drove protests for rescue.
“The advice I have received is the doctors from the hospital have said the baby’s treatment has concluded and they would be happy for the baby to go out into community detention,” The Guardian quoted Dutton as saying. “That’s what we have proposed all along but at some point, if people have matters finalised in Australia, they will be returning to Nauru … I also think it is an important message to send to those people with children living on Nauru at the moment, that there is a continuation of the government’s policy.”
The government has agreed to keep the baby in Australia following severe protests from doctors and campaigners who demanded to keep the baby within the nation instead of her being sent to Nauru’s untrustworthy detention centres. Doctors earlier this month said that they won’t discharge the baby until she gets a “suitable home environment” to live in.